OK, maybe they didn't laugh. I wasn't there. But they do want to change it to something that is either more catchy or more specific, preferably both. I'm having a bit of trouble picking a new one, and so I turn to you, blog readers, for feedback and suggestions. Consider yourselves a kind of focus group.
The new subtitle will be something along these lines: "How Stay-at-Home Dads, Breadwinning Moms, and Shared Parenting are Transforming the Twenty-First-Century Family"--with certain words changed depending on what the title ultimately becomes.
As for the main title, here's what I've come up with so far (in order of my current preference). Imagine yourself browsing in the parenting section of a bookstore. Which one would you pick up?
The Daddy Dialectic
When Dads Stay Home
A Father’s Work (as in, "is never done...")
The Birth of Stay-at-Home Fatherhood
Half the Work
Dads at Home
But if you like "Twenty-First-Century Dad" best, say so. I can take your comments to Beacon as evidence that someone out there likes that title.
You can learn more about the book here. I'd love to hear other suggestions. In fact, I'll give a free copy to whomever thinks of a winning title.
Incidentally, the Beacon business people are not the first to criticize the title. At the Mesa Writers' Refuge, I had the following conversation with a Very Famous Writer (VFW):
VFW: Twenty-First-Century Dad is a terrible title. I wouldn't read that.
Me: Do you have any suggestions?
(Thinks for a minute, chin resting on knuckles.)
VFW: I got it! You should call the book Mr. Mom!
(He's smiling broadly; he believes that he has just saved my book from obscurity.)
Me: Um, a lot of stay-at-home dads don't like the term Mr. Mom.
VFW: Fine. You can call it, Don't Call Me Mr. Mom! I would read that!